Forty Years Ago

Interesting paragraph in Editor Claude Walker’s “Personal Observations” column; it depicted an average day in our village in May of ’65. Nothing much out of the ordinary happening, and it could have been a description of any American town of 15,000 back then:

“The village fathers are coping with the problems that always beset a village. ‘Pete’ Peterson is happy over the sewer situation; Commissioner Mike Lambke is one up on keeping the streets and alleys clean. Vernon Reich, although in the hospital, is directing his department efficiently, Earl Witt is wrestling with the ever-present problem of village finances and Paul Berlin sees to it that the water is pure while coming in large quantities with the proper pressure. Mayor Mohr is happy that all departments are operating and that he and [Police] Chief Elmer Schnurstein keep one step ahead of the syndicate that is finding Forest Park’s new image a reality”that gamblers are not welcome here anymore.”

Change the commissioners’ and mayor’s names to those serving now, and yesterday looks like today (though the reference to mob-controlled gambling probably stays in the past tense).

From the April 1965 issues of the Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

“It was celebrity week at Gianotti’s on Roosevelt Rd. It started with past visits by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and others years ago, picking up considerably in the space of several days when Sammy Davis, singer Buddy Greco, comedian Pat Henry and Barbara Eden, star of the television series, “I Dream of Jeannie,” dined at the popular restaurant. “Word must travel fast in the entertainment world,” said owner Mary (Mama) Gianotti, “and show business people must share a lot of recommendations.”

Lt. Fred Zimmerman prefaced his Police Report column with a few editorial remarks: “A law enforcement officer can be the nicest person of the meanest cuss in the world, depending on the circumstances under which citizen and cop meet. An officer must possess a broad area of human understanding because he/she comes into contact with a cross-section of people who have a multitude of problems. Arrests, which should be made only when necessary, may be the only face-to-face meeting a citizen may make with a policeman. It helps if residents are aware that we serve the community in many ways,” said Zimmerman. “It goes without saying,” he concluded, “that we depend on the alertness of people to let us know about any suspicious activities.”

From the May 1975 issues of the Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

As long as we’re on a wine kick along with much of the nation, here’s another tip from freelance writer Jo Ann Miner: “Salty or smoked foods require wine with some sweetness to lend body and structure. When served with such foods the wine’s sweetness balances the saltiness. Smoky flavor can be very pervasive so it contrasts well with a fruity wine.”

Humorist James Thurber poked fun at the adjective-laced overload of snobbery in wine’s lexicon: “It’s a naive, domestic Pinot Noir without any breeding at all, but you’ll be amused by its presumption.” (On the other hand, Port makes me belch.)

Here’s an example of Officer Fred Zimmerman’s words in praise of our police: Off-duty Forest Park policeman Steve Johnsen was in Gussie’s Deli when an 80 year-old Elmhurst man began to choke on his food. Johnsen went quickly to the man’s aid and performed the Heimlich maneuver he had learned at the police academy. He caused the man to cough up the obstruction in his windpipe. “I wouldn’t be here today,” said the man later, “if it wasn’t for that fine policeman.”

From the April 1985 issues of the Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

It’s been a decade since three new commissioners were elected to the village council”Tony Calderone, Tim Gillian and Laureen Thornton. Incumbent commissioner Gerald Jacknow made it by a slim 19 votes. Lorrain Popelka kept the mayoral title over Armand Ladoucer by a 2-1 margin. Howard “Bud” Boy and Ken Stange won 6-year term on the park board, while Maureen Booth was elected to the park district board.

A couple of creeps put a gun to a 73 year-old local man as he walked home from work at 2 a.m. The goons shook him down for $30, a pack of cigs and a lighter.

Speaking of cigs and money today, people are buying cancer, paying premium prices for the privilege and are crippling their budgets. But I don’t want to be judgmental.

Partly from the April 1995 issues of the Forest Park Review